United States air strikes hit seven Islamic State militant targets in Libya

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

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On Monday and Tuesday, seven ISIL militant targets were struck in Sirte, Libya following the United States’ (U.S.) launch of warplanes and armed drones against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on August 1, 2016.

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Pentagon spokesman, Captain Jeff Davis, confirmed the targets which were struck in Sirte included: two T-72 tanks; military, construction and transport vehicles; a rocket launcher and an ISIL fighting position.

According to U.S. officials, Libyan militia fighters have been providing ISIL targets to American special operation forces, who are located on the ground near the ISIL stronghold in Sirte. These targets are then analysed and passed on to U.S. warplanes and drones flying overhead.

The air strikes are being conducted by Harrier jets which were deployed from the U.S. assault ship Wasp, located in the Mediterranean. The armed Reaper drones came from a base in Jordan.

This new Libyan operation, which the Pentagon has dubbed “Operation Odyssey Lightning,” also marks the first time coordinated armed drone missions from Jordan have been carried out by the U.S.

Ivan Molotkov, Moscow’s ambassador in Libya criticized the U.S. air strikes, claiming they “lack legal grounds,” as a required decision from the United Nations (U.N.) Security Council never occurred. The U.S. State Department rejected this claim.

U.S. President, Obama said the strikes are necessary in helping the U.N. backed government in Libya, to drive ISIL militants out of Sirte, who have had a stronghold on the region since July 2015.

Obama promised that the airstrikes will continue until ISIL no longer has a stronghold in Libya.


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